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Your Trendy Friend

You can't borrow its shoes, but MySpace Fashion tells what cool kids are wearing.

September 30, 2007|Emili Vesilind | Times Staff Writer

SAMANTHA RONSON is trouncing around the hip, West Hollywood boutique Tracey Ross in vintage Nike Air Jordans and a faded Guns N' Roses T-shirt, trying on clothes for a small video crew. The Hollywood DJ is the latest celebrity to collaborate on a fashion-themed video spot called "The Fit," scheduled to air on MySpace Fashion.

Yes, several weeks ago, MySpace added fashion to its expanding menu.

Designed by the social networking behemoth to be a virtual clubhouse for industry professionals (designers, retailers, stylists, etc.) and those who follow them, MySpace Fashion functions similarly to MySpace Music, featuring videos, photos and a slew of links to other fashion-themed MySpace pages, including designers' websites and fashion blogs. Users can also add the profile to their stable of "friends," MySpace-speak for connections, and then be updated when new content hits the page.

For avid users of the website, the wrangling of buddies borders on a competitive sport: The more online friends you accrue, the more loved you feel in real life. And MySpace is betting that fashion companies will be keen on racking up thousands of close, personal friends -- the kind you blast with advertising bulletins and include on marketing reports.

(The music industry has already embraced this format, with almost every label and music artist in the stratosphere corralling fans via MySpace.)

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, September 30, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
MySpace Fashion: A photo caption with an article about My- Space Fashion in today's Image section said DJ Samantha Ronson was in Tracey Ross boutique. She was in the Brooklyn Projects boutique.For the Record
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, October 07, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
MySpace Fashion: A photo caption with an article about My- Space Fashion in the Sept. 30 Image section said DJ Samantha Ronson was in Tracey Ross boutique. She was in the Brooklyn Projects boutique.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, October 21, 2007 Home Edition Image Part P Page 2 Features Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
MySpace Fashion: A photo caption in the Sept. 30 Image section said DJ Samantha Ronson was in the Tracey Ross boutique. She was in the Brooklyn Projects boutique.

Though the stated goal of MySpace Fashion is to "provide a bridge between amateur and more established designers," its brass-tacks mission is to forge collaborations with mass-fashion retailers and generate advertising dollars for the company, which was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. in 2005. The company works with such sponsors as Victoria's Secret, JC Penney, Hollister Co., Armani Exchange and H&M to create "branded communities," or souped-up MySpace pages. The concept probably isn't a hard sell: MySpace has more than 115 million users monthly.

Not that MySpace Fashion is all mass, no flash. Its sleek, magazine-like fa├žade is easy to navigate and features fashion news (courtesy of sponsor InStyle magazine), links to up-and-coming designers and video footage from New York Fashion Week and style events, including the recent Fashion Rocks concert.

And then there's "The Fit."

As a highly sought-after A-list DJ with her own quirky sense of style, Ronson is an offbeat and yet somehow perfect choice for MySpace Fashion to feature in a video.

Past video subjects have included Hilary Duff, Amanda Bynes and Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, among others, getting dolled up with their stylists or shopping at their favorite stores. The content is perhaps too vapid for adults ("In real life, I like wearing fun clothes," says Bynes with a straight face) but could easily hook teens who are already fans of the celebs.

Ronson, twin sister of designer Charlotte Ronson and party pal to the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie, filmed her spots for "The Fit" at various stores in Los Angeles, including Tracey Ross, Brooklyn Projects and Dior Homme.

"I'm addicted to MySpace, and I'm a crazy blogger," she said.

"Also, I have friends who have stores and fashion lines, and I like to promote my friends."

Indeed, Ronson chatted with friend and retailer Tracey Ross on camera and cooed over a charcoal, wool swing coat designed by -- who else? -- her sister.

But there's no shame in plugging your friends here. It is MySpace, after all.

--

emili.vesilind@latimes.com

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